Busy Day Organising The Disorganised………

A brief post tonight, the Strawberry Blond one is heading back to school and so there is a mad case of getting her organised when quite frankly she is quite apathetic about being organised. It is quite challenging organising the disorganised this evening.

Ho hum…….

Best she gets her act together before she hits school on Monday or Matron will have her guts for garters.

Had a fab morning this morning in the souqs in Dyrah – the old part of Riyadh. It is a long time since I have been there and I had forgotten how fab it is.

Just one of the streets of Dyrah - a veritable feast of bric-a-brac heaven.....

Just one of the streets of Dyrah – a veritable feast of bric-a-brac heaven…..

Shame it is right next to ‘Chop Chop’ square and the specialist water fountains and overlooked by the offices of ‘The Committee of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice’ but hey ho, they have to be somewhere I suppose.

We have visited ‘Chop Chop’ in the past and it is actually quite a beautiful, albeit tad unique, area of town once cast its real purpose to the back of your mind.

Anyway, enough of that – a fab wander around Dyrah, lunch at the equally fab Cafe Bateel and then home to organise the disorganised.

It has suddenly beach,me clear to me that my more recent blogs have lacked a certain humour and variety of those slightly older ones.

This is directed at me I hasten to add.....

This is directed at me I hasten to add…..

I suspect that this may be due in no small part to the imminent departure of the strawberry blond hand grenade but then to the hiatus in chaotic activity in our lives at present – although flying with Saudia next Thursday and then my last pre-booked BA flight back to the the UK next week that is highly likely to change. Yeap, stand by, BA here I come with the small man next weekend, anything could happen……

Finally, I suspect that the upcoming adventure which is the small matter of the London Marathon may also be playing heavily on my mind, consciously and not.

So apologies for the lack of humorous drama of late, please make the most of the calm – there is no knowing how long it will last but any extension beyond next weekend is looking increasingly unlikely.

Right, best go and remind the daughter that she is off to the airport in the not too distant future and it may be a good idea to actually do something in preparation….

Matron – good luck!

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No training today – starting to wind things down – may just go for a little potter up and down the lanes of the swimming pool tomorrow.

Laters!

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Who Put The Frickin’ Lights Out?????

Last night was meant to be the big one, my big run before really launching into two weeks of serious tapering. It had been my plan all day, the entire time from getting up had been built around a 20 mile run around the all so exciting compound. I really wanted to do it, as much as anything to prove to myself that two weeks on Sunday is going to be OK.

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The problem is that the temperature is rising here and the sun is burning down – I really do not enjoy running in that and so I was going to head out after dark when the temperature had dropped.

Yeap, the day had been about last night’s run. Lounging by the pool in the morning, pottering around in the afternoon, a late afternoon snooze and eating the right foods – even more than usual!

Darkness came, the temperature dropped, the Gruesome Twosome and himself went to bed and at 10pm I pulled on my running kit, filled a water bottle and strategically placed it along with a pot of homemade GF flapjack on the doorstep and off I went.

All started well. As expected there was nobody really around apart from the hardcore dog walkers who soon disappeared. I did almost bump into, (literally), the legend that is Mr Tommo as I ran along the dimly lit edge of the sports field by the sewage works – not sure who got the bigger shock, me or him! Just me and my music. The first few miles went by reasonably well with a nice pace and a few short walks – not that I really needed them but as I was planning 20 miles I thought I was justified, especially as my marathon plan involves a mainly running but also some walking strategy.


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All was well.

After about 6.5 miles one of the street lights went out. Grumbling to myself I bemoaned our usually highly efficient maintenance guys and ran on.

As I continued another one went out and then another. Slightly puzzled by this my mind wandered to the wiring system for the street lights on the perimeter of the compound and what configuration would result in that pattern of lights going out.

It continued and it got darker and darker.

I then noticed that there seemed to be a pattern for what lights were on and what had gone off.

Slowly I had a lightbulb moment, (well few minutes actually), and I realised that our usually highly efficient maintenance guys had in fact been highly efficient and the lights were going out on purpose.

At that time of night there is nobody, (except one odd ball out training for The London Marathon), around the perimeter of the compound and so common sense dictates save energy, reduce light pollution and, most likely in this case, save money.

I have no problem with this, no problem at all – except when I am marathon training.

So, the lights were going out around me. To be honest it was a bit spooky as they seemed to be going out as I ran past each one – a bit like a domino effect. I did actually think that some compassionate person in the CCTV office was feeding my location to the person on the street light on/off switch so as to not leave me completely in the dark. But extreme but believe me when you are running round and round the compound all sorts of weird, wonderful and bizarre things go through your mind……

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The thing about Saudi Arabia is that most areas are never dark, the Saudis are not shy about switching lights on – usually. However, our compound is relatively remote and so when the perimeter lights go out it is dark, very dark. Even the lights on the building site next door were off.

So, darkness had fallen and I have to admit it was a bit spooky. I don’t usually bother about these things, but I have to admit to being a tad uneasy.

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A much bigger worry however was that I could not see a thing in front of my feet – unless I was in the radius of one of the lights still on that is. The roads and pavements around the compound tend to have a few booby traps, caused mainly by subsidence and I have nearly come a cropper a few times when I can see my feet.

Eyes:DarkSo, in the end, much to my annoyance I decided to run home – this was stupid and if I fell arse over apex and did myself an injury before London I would be seriously brassed off.

It was about 30 seconds after this that a cat shot across me and gave me the fright of my life – after that I sprinted home with extra speed stripes.

So, last night’s run was just short of 8 miles – not what I had in mind and I am more than a little put out about this. My mood today is not great – if you see me I would suggest keeping a reasonable distance…..

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To add insult to injury I sprinted to the front door at around 11.45pm, cooled down and came in. It was then, as I glanced out of the window that I saw how dark it really was outside. However, the problem was that going to bed was not an option, I had been running and the endorphins were flowing – I was buzzing.

It is amazing how much you can get done when the crew are in bed. Washing, tidying, dishwasher………..

Eventually I did go to bed and yes I did fall asleep – albeit grumbling under my breath.

So, how do I feel this morning? Physically fine – lets face it if I am not OK after 8 miles then all hell will break loose on the 24th. Mentally – extremely brassed off!

Anyway, off to the pool in a few minutes – the Strawberry Blond Hand Grenade is going to teach me how to do tumble turns…….memories of years ago and that slightly odd and creepy character on CBeebies are springing to mind…..

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I’ll be back……..

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I Think I Have Had A Funny Turn…….

OK, so I have been nattering on recently about how, thanks to the various Sporting Challenges, my attitude to swimming has changed. I have moved from dreading swimming, avoiding it at any costs and being a flailing, uncoordinated mass of arms and legs to still being a flailing mass of arms and legs but actually one that no longer dreads the experience and really quite enjoys it. Well, I think I have had a funny turn……

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Yeap, I have done something that could either be viewed as a bit daft, a bit brave or incredibly outrageous.

Well, actually I have done two things that could fall into those categories.

Firstly, I have signed up for an Open Water Swim. Yeap, you heard right, I am going swimming in open water with goodness only knows how many other people in June. The lake in question is Windermere. I have signed up for a mere 1 mile swim just to try to get me into the groove and see how it goes. Oh dear, I feel trouble, and a wetsuit, coming on.

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Secondly, I have signed up for a 3 day swim camp, (again at Windermere), to tackle my technique, get coaching tips, nutrition tips, yoga sessions and do 3 lake swims with an ‘around the island’ swim if the good old Lake District weather allows. This is led by a lady known as ‘Madfish’, (slightly worrying name in its own right), who is a world record open water and marathon swimmer. Her real name, and one which a tad more reassuring, is Julie Bradshaw MBE – among her many other achievements and records she swam the Channel doing butterfly in a little over 14 hours. Scary in itself.

Should I be worried? Yes, I think so – best I dust off my will before heading to Windermere in June.

So, as you can see I have finally lost the plot. I have gone from a complete anti-swimmer and am now signed up to go open water swimming, where the heck did that come from???

By the way, these two crazy activities in the summer are not my latest Sporting Challenge – oh no, research into that is still underway and I cannot possibly give you any more info than that at the moment, definitely not…

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So, now that I have completely lost my marbles and agreed to throw myself into Lake Windermere sometimes with a wetsuit and sometimes just in my swimming cozzie, I really should not lose sight of the fact that in just 19 days I am running The London Marathon. Yeap, the big one, the focus of my life for quite a few months and quite frankly the cause of quite a few sleepless nights and nightmares.

I will persevere and I will do it!

A reasonable training run last night, 3 miles then ran to the gym, 30 mins of hill climbing on stepper and sprinted home. Not too bad – but will be running again before the big day.  Might go swimming this afternoon……

I have to admit to a slight level of concern, there has been little or no chaos of late in our household – quite the opposite. All a bit concerning – especially as the strawberry blond hand grenade is at home. Yeap, we have had hormonal door slamming, attitude and answering back but that is largely par for the course.

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I can’t help thinking there is a compressed bundle of chaos on its way….

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Curiosity Killed The Cat…Well Laptop, Almost…….

I think most of the regular readers of this blog will know by now that I am the sort of soul who is eager to learn, keen to explore and generally try most things out of a sense of curiosity and having far too much damned energy. Well tonight I have learnt a lesson and yes tonight curiosity killed the cat – or in this case, by default, the mouse as tonight I have booby trapped my laptop.

Normally this would be my motto - but not tonight.......

Normally this would be my motto – but not tonight…….

Yeap, as I was sat mulling over tonight’s blog I was looking through various settings on my laptop – curious as to what various options did and to get to grips with how my partner in crime works.

Well yes, you can guess it – I pressed an option……

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I have never really had a problem with my laptop, well part from spilling Gin & Tonic on it on two separate occasions, (in fairness one of those occasions was the small man spilling the G&T on it – yes it was my G&T but not me doing the spilling. The other time was completely my fault and I can blame no other for it – not even the slightest tenuous amount of blame can even be laid at himself’s door – unfortunately). Both cases taught me quite clearly that my trusty Apple product cannot take it’s drink and the subsequent hangover that the incidents produced led to it being taken into the big IT hospital, having its stomach pumped, (well a new keyboard in one case and a bit of TLC in the other) and a stern dressing down to me it’s responsible grown up – yeah, right – to be more careful with my G&T and keep it away from my laptop. So, as you can probably guess tonight’s events are entirely my fault for being curious and a bit stupid.

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The option in question relates to saved passwords and things like that and I have to admit that as I hovered the cursor over the padlock, the thought did cross my mind that perhaps I shouldn’t click.

Too late – I shouldn’t have done that.

Oh well, to cut a long story short I have completely screwed it all up. At this point I have to say that while nobody but yours truly hovered the cursor over the padlock and clicked, I have upon further investigation realised that I have opened my faithful buddy up to a glitch in the latest Apple software which it was not open to before I clickety clicked. Yeap, according to various websites there is a glitch relating to password software – that is my excuse to absolve myself of partial blame and I am sticking to it.

Anyway, after a  few hours and a certain amount of tooth grinding, grumbling and chuntering later I have at least resolved part of the problem, (the glitch means that actually once locked you cannot permanently unlock the padlock – now that’s useful!).

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Work will continue tomorrow on the remaining issues……

So, after the grumpiness of yesterday I am pleased to report a swimming training session, (me, using the words pleased and swimming in one sentence – no way!).

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I was, (and am still vaguely hopeful), of a trot out around the compound tomorrow but as I am currently coughing, sneezing and wheezing away like an asthmatic, hay fever suffering, life long Woodbine smoker in an oilseed rape field in a pollen boom I do not need to look out of the window to know that the wind is picking up, the dust and camel poo are circulating, (there is nothing worse than being hit in the eye by a piece of mutant, flying camel poo), and almost certainly the rain is coming – the smell of rehydrating camel poo is certainly in the air. The gruesome twosome have already pointed out in very animated fashions that there is lightening….

So, time will tell if I get out for my trot tomorrow – if not off to the gym I go…..

OK, best I go and dose up my poor old sinuses so I can get some sleep tonight – himself couldn’t sleep last night which on the one hand is fine but as he is not a small kinda guy, (hence why the gruesome twosome are anything other than petite), when he can’t sleep and is fidgeting all night then it is like sleeping on the high seas – lets just say I need my bed tonight. If he can’t sleep tonight I might just crawl in with the small man – yes, things are that desperate….

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Right, just had a clap of thunder, best go and sort the sinuses….

Laters…

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Bye Bye Blue, Hello Pool…….

Retorical question – why is it that I always charge up the rechargeable batteries, put them neatly in the box in the drawer and then when I need them the box is empty?

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No answer required, just thinking out loud in a vaguely exasperated fashion……

So, I could not help myself – I went swimming today. Yeap, the transformation is quite incredible – from someone who would go to any lengths to avoid the water to somebody who now enjoys having flailing arms and legs going in all directions and swims for pleasure. Who’d have thought it……..

A nice leisurely mile completed – well leisurely by my standards with uncoordinated arms and legs and definite energy wastage, but a mile completed never the less.

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Tomorrow is a rest day, definitely, no question about it – no training tomorrow.

To be honest I am not in bad shape at all after yesterday & neither is himself. I have realised that when the sun came out I got sunburnt on my face – basic error in no sun screen – doh! A mild ache in my left thigh and a continuing
sore tummy button, (still not sure how that came about), is pretty much as bad as it gets – well happy!

The big news of today is that himself has clippered the small man’s hair, the blue has finally gone. Not only that but he was then forced into the shower with shampoo and shower gel. He smells nice – let’s make the most of it.smell-roses

So, with the marathon looming large on the horizon, my mind has started wandering towards what the heck I do next – there has to be something in the pipeline, I can’t let all this work go to pot.

A few ideas are bouncing around in my head, oh no, more ideas!

I will keep you posted as things evolve…..

Laters!

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‘Blimey Mum, You Stink……’

Charming! Yeap, that was the cry from both of the gruesome twosome when I cam back from my run this morning. Pretty ironic really that the cry of ‘Mum, you stink’ should come from the small man who is immune from showers, soap & anything even vaguely clean, (and still has a blue patch in his hair), but there you have it – I stunk!

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Yeap – I was right to be sceptical and cynical, the Saudi weatherman got it wrong and the warning for severe sandstorms this morning was completely unfounded. Quite the opposite actually, as I wound up the blind this morning I was greeted by perfect running conditions, slightly overcast, a light and gentle wind, no sun and most importantly of all good visibility, (meaning no damned sand and dust!). Great stuff!

Himself had already pulled on his running kit and was on the verge of heading out and I would not be far behind.

One bowl of porridge, two children fed and all the obligatory essential household morning jobs done later, I headed out of the door and away I went.

The weather was really perfect, at least for the first couple of hours until the sun actually came out directly overhead and the temperature climbed dramatically.

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So, a great run – yeap there was some walking but hey ho, I am planning on a mainly running with some walking plan for the 24th, I even knocked a reasonable time off my last half marathon time from January at the 13.1 mile mark.

Really chuffed actually, with the distance and time today I should be on target for my 5 hour goal and that is having trained hard everyday for the last 8 days with no rest days, (daft I know).

As for the feet – well painkillers taken before the run, pads in shoes and strapping on the feet. Not brilliant but a definite improvement. Next injection on 13th!

Also, really chuffed about the fact that I beat those damned gremlins in my head today and ran, ran, ran around the compound – probably one of the most mentally challenging environments to run in thanks to dust, 2000ft up and of course being exactly the same at all points and pretty mind-numbing!

Yeap, Cumbria is one of the most physically challenging environments I have ever run in and the compound is the toughest mentally challenging environment.

Couple of rest days now – but might have a gentle swim, (did I really say that????) and then a couple of gentle trots, (weather permitting), around the compound before tapering………deep joy!

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Anyway, you will be pleased to know that I have now showered and am back in the small man’s good books as a nice smelling Mum.

One small problem though – some people get sore nipples when they run, some get chaffing……not me, I have a red and sore tummy button, not sure how I managed that one………..

Oh well, laters…..

 

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Resistance Is Futile………???

Whoop whoop – Swimming Challenge completed. Resistance is futile shoulders – crack on with it!

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Yeap, 2.1 miles completed today making a grand total of 13.1 miles over the whole of March – well happy!

Readers of last night’s blog will know that I was planning to do 2 miles today to take my total up to 13 miles, but as I was ploughing up and down the pool I was struck by the idea, (oh heck, another idea!), of making it up to half marathon distance. Oh well, why the heck not!

Any all done! Well chuffed!

Well chuffed

So how are the arms? Well, I can’t actually feel my shoulders and am concerned that they may have fallen off, (this feeling is not helped by the fact I have also done 3 x 90 secs planking), but as my hands and fingers appear to be working in writing this blog I’m reasonably confident that my shoulders are where they should be. They were definitely aching throughout today’s pool session but as per tonight’s title, resistance is futile and once that was taken on board they saw me through the swim quite nicely.

So, will I be doing more swimming? I think I will. Yes, for those long term blog readers you did read that right, I am going to carry on swimming, (to see how far I have really come with my swimming, take a look at this blog post…..Day Of The Watery Nemesis). Maybe not 2.1 miles at a time on a regular basis but certainly using it for training and upper limb strength.

So, to tomorrow’s run and the weather. The jury is out – today the weather has not been great and would not have been good for a run but tomorrow is another matter. It is not looking great at the moment but time will tell……….If all else fails off to the gym again…

Laters!

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Bye Bye Clean & Tidy House…??? & An Apology – Maths Was Never My Strong Point….

The first part of tonight’s blog is an apology. I have never been good at maths and that combined with the fact that I am in denial how quickly time is going before the big day, means that I genuinely thought that yesterday was the 27 March when in fact, as himself pointed out later on in the evening, was the 29 March and so there were not four days at all before the end of the Swimming Challenge but two. As such, I would have to be a combination of a mermaid, (yeah, right), Michael Phelps and a jet propelled torpedo to get to 15 miles by the end of the month.

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Therefore, my revised goal of 15 miles has been re-revised to 13 miles which will be duly completed tomorrow. I can not see any circumstances which will necessitate a re-re-revision short of the pool springing a leak over night and being nothing more than a shallow puddle in the deep end.

I am slightly concerned though that himself was the only person to comment on this faux pas – does anybody else read the blog?

Is there anybody out there? Can you hear me?

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Anyway, onto important matters. Let’s face it, I will keep rambling on even if nobody reads this.

Well, firstly to training. The dust appears to be settling – albeit rather slowly. The wind is lessening and so up to about 10 minutes ago I was thinking that tomorrow will be the last 2 miles of the swimming challenge, (first ever 2 mile swim – let’s go out with a bang!), and then off out for a good run on Friday.

That was until I just glanced at the weather forecast and guess what, apparently the dust storm is coming back with vengeance on Friday. Oh great, I thought to myself, just what I need.

I have to say that I take weather forecasts out here with the scepticism, (me? cynical and sceptical?, never!), so I will be keeping everything crossed that it is just a blip and actually it is going to be slightly overcast with occasional glimpses of the sun, cool and no wind.

Michael Fish eat your heart out!

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Anyway, as when I was out on my bike this morning there was still enough dust and muck in the air to make me sneeze and my eyes water like the Trevi Fountain I opted for the gym option.

Warm up on the treadmill followed by cross country on the stepper on a high resistance. At this rate I will be able to crack a nut in my buttocks and lift a camel with my hamstrings.

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All good at the gym, but even I am getting twitched by the lack of outdoor running. Best I get on and do the ‘Dance To The Wrong Weatherman’ as a matter of urgency.

So, no day in our household would be complete without even a hint of chaos and mayhem.

Well, chaos and mayhem came home to a nice, clean and tidy house the other evening accompanied by himself.

Bye bye nice, clean and tidy house.

The chaos has been increasing over the last few days but plenty of deep breathing and calm thoughts have kept me calm.

Until tonight.

Yeap, it was a double whammy tonight.

Firstly, himself was making a curry for dinner. Lovely, I hear you cry and usually it is. Apart from tonight he left the curry sauce in the wok on the cooker on a high heat and proceeded to go and sit down in the lounge.

The damage was impressive, with homemade curry sauce pretty much covering a .75metre radius of the cooker. In fact it is fair to say there was more curry sauce spread about the kitchen than left in the wok.

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Himself started to make nosies about cleaning it up when I suggested with some force that actually I would clean it up.

When he asked why, his nose was put out of joint when I replied that if I did it it would be done properly and I would not end up cleaning it all up anyway after he had gone to work in the morning.

No sooner had I finished cleaning that mess up than I heard the small man disappear off into the kitchen. Naively, I was not worried – I should have been.

The Three Musketeers were watching ‘Penn & Teller Tell A Lie’ – one of the small man’s favourite programmes. On this outrageous scientific claims are made – some are true and some are made up.

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So, one of tonight’s claims was that by holding an egg with your forefinger on one end and your thumb on the other.

So, the small man felt the need to check this claim personally to see if it was the true or false one.

As I walked into the kitchen I was greeted by the sight of broken egg all over the floor, (guess that was the false claim then).

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A summons was issued for the guilty party and I was told that it had been cleaned up – I am not sure in whose imagination that had been cleaned up.

It was at this point that himself suggested I go upstairs for a post gym shower, a long shower or maybe even a soak in the bath. As I climbed the stairs I could hear frantic wiping up of egg in the kitchen….

Not my spelling mistake - I am not taking responsibility for that one!

Not my spelling mistake – I am not taking responsibility for that one!

Anyway, I am now relatively calm, I have cleaned the kitchen floor and there are no obvious signs of curry sauce…

Other than all that everything is as normal in our house. the small man still has blue hair, the strawberry blond hand grenade’s laptop is with Rafiq, the lounge looks like a hurricane has run through it and there is just 25 days till The London Marathon!

Just another day in our household…..

Laters…..

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Challenge Completed – Just Going To Add A Wee Bit More…..

I am chuffed! Yeap, really chuffed! Today I swam another 1.5 miles – making a total of 11 miles for the whole of March. Yeap, in theory that means that my Swimming Challenge is completed.

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But, and yes there is always a but with me, I have decided there is another four days till the end of the month so I am going for 15 miles – bring it on!!!

Yeap, another great swimming session, really pushed myself and yes my shoulders are aching more than ever but I did it – hurrah!

I would really like to be able to go for a run – go on dust storm, get lost!

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So, what else has been happening today? Well, the small man still has quite a marked blue stripe down the centre of his head, (click here for an explanation of the small man’s hair….) with a slight spike at the back. There is also a previously undetected blue area close to his left ear.

The blue streaks have faded off his face – mainly by virtue of the fact that he came swimming with us this afternoon, (sorry swimming pool for the extra blue tinge in the water). That said it took him a while to put his head under the water and when I finally managed to get the reason out of him, he declared concern that the magnetic putty in the water would react with the chlorine and his head would explode – get your head under the water boy!

08 May 2001 --- Exploding head --- Image by © John Lund/CORBIS

A considerable amount of time this evening has been spent trying to sort out the daughter’s laptop which is seldom used. Panic ensued as she tried to boot it up and remembered that last she used it she had changed the password, but had now forgotten the new password. When I idley asked if she has made a note of the new password, she replied yes – on my laptop………..is it me?

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So, another trip to see Rafi tomorrow – at least this time I won’y have to pretend that the affected gadget has not been down my sports bra, even I would have problems fitting a laptop into my trusted running buddy or Dolly Parton wannabe!

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Right, best go and charge the clippers up, I fear it is really going to be the only solution with a certain young man’s hair……

Laters!

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‘At Least He Will Smell Nice, Even If He Does Have A Blue Mohican……..’

Well, they are home. Yeap, they descended at around 2330 last night. The nice, clean and tidy house is now……….well not as nice, clean or tidy. But they are back, they had a fantastic time skiing and to be honest it is great to have them back.

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The pants weather is still here, the coughing, sneezing and wheezing is ongoing – not just for me but for everybody within a 100 mile radius I suspect.

My trip to the gym this afternoon confirmed that I had made the right decision not to run, our fab South African GP was in there and commented that anybody who tries to run in this weather is likely to be pretty off colour afterwards – not her accurate words but to be honest you had to hear them in her broad South African accent to appreciate their value.

So yes, a major gym visit today. In the absence of running I plumped for a major glutes workout and programmed the stepper specifically for glutes on a higher than high resistance for a long time. Ouch. I now feel like I am sat on a coal fire with extra firelighters underneath. Must have done the job then.

My gym session was aided by the arrival of the gorgeous Annie with her little brother and oh yes, her Mum and Dad. Mum and Dad were in to use the gym and Annie and her bro were there to play on the side lines. For those of you who do not know about Annie, I really strongly recommend that you take a look at Inspirational Annie – A Story Of Love and Determination. Annie is a gorgeous little girl and yet another reason why we are doing what we are doing. So, when my glutes and hamstrings were on fire in the gym this afternoon and Annie walked in, what better incentive could there be to make me work harder and make those muscles burn even more?

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Swimming again tomorrow – definitely going to go well beyond my 10 mile goal, whoop whoop!

So, the blue mohican. Well, as I mentioned the Three Musketeers are back – in force and yes, as everybody is well aware, it is the school holidays. So, that makes the perfect combination for extra mischief.

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Well, during my mammoth glutes training session in the gym the small man pulled a blinder.

I was initially alerted to the situation when I came back from the gym and was told to go straight into the lounge, don’t panic and sit down. Himself and the strawberry blond hand grenade were there, but no sign of the small man. Initially I thought there must have been an accident, but no – they were too calm. Then the small man entered the lounge with his hand on his head. As I frowned questioningly, he removed his hand………to reveal quite a neat and well sculpted blue mohican.

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As the small man’s hair is relatively short and blond this mohican was not big, but it was impressive.

It turns out that the small man had decided to create this being using his magnetic putty no less. For those who do not know about magnetic putty, (and I certainly did not know until he explained it to me), it is a thick gloopy gunge which contains some sort of metallic filings. It comes with a big chunky magnet and as a result all sorts of shapes can be produced and all sort of magnetic experiments executed.

The down side of this is that many, many hours are spent playing with this and it gets everywhere. Long term readers of this blog may recall the new carpets which were replaced last year and which I have protected and guarded against all stains, marks, debris, husbands and children – with similar ferocity to Boris Johnson protecting his cycle lanes, any danger is immediately expunged, (Maybe Going For A Run Would Have Been Easier….). However, the inevitable has happened, not with the normal chocolate or juice stains but with small blue spots of magnetic putty that have taken up residence in various parts of the carpet and resolutely refuse to give up their sticky grip on the carpet fibres.

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So, I am greeted by a small man with a blue magnetic putty mohican. My initial thought was, ‘well if I can’t shift that stuff out of the carpet, then I won’t be able to get it out of his hair…..’.

At this point himself explained that efforts had been made to comb it out but as it was now rock hard then the moaning and whinging associated with combing made it an impossible task.

I even got the magnet out of the kit to try to coax the putty out but no, it just stuck to the blue gunk and detracted from what was the impressive feature that was the mohican.

So, the next step was the shower. The small man is a typical small man and while he does shower reasonably regularly, the thoroughness of these watery ventures are often questioned. Tonight he had no choice in the matter and he was despatched to the shower with himself instructed to supervise.

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Initially there was no success – the gunk refused to be shifted. Then the small man took decisive action – he turned the shower onto as hot as he could cope with.

Success – the gunk started to melt. The plus side of this is obvious, while still having a vaguely blue tinge to his blond locks the mohican is gone. The down side of this is that the shower, and whole bathroom for that matter, is now redecorated with melted blue gunk which has pretty much gone everywhere and reset. It would appear that when melted, magnetic putty increases in volume and takes it upon itself to redesign everything that it comes into contact with.

This is not just limited to the bathroom. The gunk melted and ran down the small man, to the point that his face now has a blue tinge to it, similar to when as a teenager we all tried to dye our hair and ended up with streaks down our faces and necks.

From a distance it does look like he has been in a fight, from a closer perspective he looks pretty hypoxic.

Oh well, if anybody sees the small man in the near future I would just like to assure them now, in advance, that the small man is actually in the best of health and has not been brawling. He has just been into mischief with a tin of blue magnetic putty.

Well, best I go off and attempt to scrape the blue highlights from the bathroom.

Laters!

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